"I scream, you scream. Think twice before trying to rip off ice cream vendor Mr. Byrd."
-- DVD description for the episode
A hot-tempered convict with a butter addiction tries to get revenge, with the help of his mentally challenged brother, on the ice cream trucker who was responsible for his arrest, unaware the driver also has a dark secret too.
Billy DeLuca and his brother Virgil "Verge" DeLuca are planning a heist at the ice cream factory Billy currently works at. Virgil is watching cartoons as they go over the details of what will happen so they don't mess anything up. Verge gets a fact wrong about the sequence of events, which makes Billy lose his temper before Verge berates himself. Billy then tells him to get ready because he wants to eat some ice cream before 'shit goes down tomorrow'.
An ice cream truck is coming down the street driven by Earl Byrd, who is popular with the children. Byrd has a puppet that he shows the kids who applaud him. As the presentation is going on, Billy comes up and confronts Mr. Byrd for putting him in prison. Mr. Byrd says that Billy was stealing, and that's why he turned him in, for trimming his profits. Billy appears to make peace with Mr. Byrd in front of the children by asking for something to go. Being a butter fan, Billy asks for something in butternut, butterbrickle and buttermilk to which Mr. Byrd replies no to each one. Billy takes two butterscotch instead, and when he hands over his cash, he sees that Mr. Byrd has a large box full of money.
Back in the car, Billy gives Virgil some of his ice cream and laments about Mr. Byrd getting what is coming to him to which Virgil replies something that sets Billy off, knocking his ice cream out of his hand. Billy wants payback for the two years he spent in jail at Mr. Byrd's tattling. At the factory the next day, its CEEO Mrs. Grafungar is looking for Verge and his employees and after learning an employee went off base, she loses her temper and says that Mr. Byrd doesn't like to be kept waiting. Grafungar tells them that they could learn a thing or two from him. Grafungar thren greets Mr. Byrd out in his car and attempts to flirt with him by saying she just purchased a new pantsuit and it would look good with a date.Byrd declines, to which she attempts to invite him to dinner for a green bean and potato chip casserole and he declines again. Grafungar gets upset, and he pays for his order. Billy and Virgil are watching Mr. Byrd counting his cash and they go over their plan again. Billy calls Virgil stupid, and he gets mad and reneges on their plan. Billy has to get Virgil back on his side so he says everyone is plotting against them. Mrs. Grafungar yells for Virgil to load up Mr. Byrd's truck, and Virgil snaps, saying he wants to hurt her. Verge confronts her in a locked room and attacks her, but she survives and crawls out of the room bleeding. Mr. Byrd is still waiting for the ice cream order to be loaded in his truck and he is growing increasingly impatient, calling for Mrs. Grafungar. Billy tries to keep her from being seen, so he grabs a hook from nearby and drags her out of sight. Mr. Byrd then drives away, and when Billy and Virgil try to go after the money in the safe, they realize it is locked up.
Virgil comes up with a plan to go after "the puppet man" (Mr. Byrd) for the money instead. At Mr. Byrd's house, Virgil and Billy kick the door in with guns in hands. They threaten him to give them the money, but Mr. Byrd tries to get away. Virgil shoots him in the head, knocking him over which forces the two men to have to search the house for the money instead. As they search, Billy finds a large ground freezer with money inside made to look like ice cream. He calls for Virgil, but he's not around. Suddenly a shot rings out from the opening in the next room, shooting Billy's lower leg off. Mr. Byrd comes out with a gun, surprising Billy who is now on the ground. He keeps calling for Virgil, so Mr. Byrd shows him his brothers dead body. Mr. Byrd tells Billy he thinks he and Virgil were close as brothers. He then tells Billy about his brother, whom he was close to until he died. Byrd says they are still close and tells Billy to look at what he has done.
Byrd turns around to reveal his attached twin brother Earl, who turns out to be the man Virgil shot in the head earlier, much to Billy's horror. Byrd reveals that his brother "wasn't what you call a social butterfly", but when he was doing Little Willie's voice, he was the best ice cream salesman and that he will miss him. An enraged Billy tells him to go to hell, to which Byrd replies 'you first' before he hits him over the head with the gun. Some hours later, Byrd is in the ice cream truck when a child comes up to tell him he smells. Byrd then turns to Earl's dead body, which is still attached to him, and they drive away.
Opening Segment"Chop 'em to the left! Chop 'em to the right! Chop 'em every chance you get. Fright, fright, fright! All right, creeps. It's fourth and ghoul. They're probably expecting us to run a ghost pattern, so let’s run a scream pass instead. Of course, I could pull out a few other surprises from my playbook, like tonight's tale. It's about a couple of brothers who are planning a little high scaring of their own in a nasty bit of offense I call People Who Live in Brass Hearses."
Closing Segment"Shame about Billy and Virgil, but you know what they say, kiddies - two deads are better than one! And as for Byrd, he stayed in the ice cream business, and did very well. Everyone loves Ben and Scary's. Well, I gotta get back to my practice. Next week, we're playing the Washington Dreadskins. 45...22...33...Hut! Hut! Hut!"
[players hand falls off]
"You idiot! I didn't call for a hand-off!"
- This episode is available on the Tales from the Crypt: The Complete Fifth Season DVD collection.
- In the beginning of the episode, Brad Dourif is reading a comic book, "Jesse James vs Predator". Bill Paxton had faced off with a Predator in 1990's Predator 2, and one year after "People in Brass Hearses" (1993) would air, would play Jesse James' brother, Frank in Frank & Jesse.
- Second episode of the series directed by Russell Mulcahy. Russell also directs "Split Second", "Let the Punishment Fit the Crime" and "Horror in the Night".
- Cinematography for this episode was provided by Rick Bota. Bota is DP on 21 episodes of the series and will go on to direct the direct-to-video films Hellraiser: Hellseeker, Hellraiser: Deader and Hellraiser: Hellworld.
- Actor Brad Dourif, who plays the role of Virgil in this episode, is an icon of the horror genre, having appeared in dozens of films both mainstream and obscure. He is best known however as the voice of Charles Lee Ray, aka, Chucky from the Child's Play film franchise.
- Cam Clarke, the voice of Mister Bryd's puppet, also starred in the animated Tales From the Crypt episode The Third Pig as the voice of Dudley.